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MO-Sen: So first she was against it, then she was an incomprehensible 'maybe,' and now she's for it. That's the series of ideological gymnastics that Sarah Steelman's been through in the last half a week, concerning the flaming anvil of death that is the Ryan Plan. On Friday at a town hall event, she said that, yes, she would have voted for it, or at least that she "would love to be able to vote for" it.

MT-Sen: I don't think Denny Rehberg ever gets thought of as a potential self-funder, even though he's one of the House's wealthier members. And now he's looking a little less wealthy (and a little less self-fundy, if that ever becomes necessary): his net worth, according to the latest round of disclosures, dropped to the $1.8-$3.6 million range from the pervoius year's $11-$52 million. That's apparently after a reappraisal of his land holdings, partly because of fire damage to some development property (the root of his not-so-good-optics lawsuit against the Billings Fire Department).

VA-Sen: George Allen seems keenly aware of the same problem as Sarah Steelman, even though he seems to have a clearer path out of his primary: embrace the Ryan plan and stay in the hard-right's good graces to win the primary, or pivot away from it in order to have a shot in the general election (but have a rougher primary). As seen in his latest interview, he's also taking the same gibberish-strewn path as Steelman... his stance has been an unlikely-to-satisfy-anyone refusal to say 'yes' or 'no.' We'll have to see how long he can keep that up.


NC-Gov: PPP's latest look at the Republican electorate in the Tar Heel State finds that Pat McCrory, the presumptive GOP nominee to go against Dem incumbent Bev Perdue, could actually face a lot of trouble in a primary if someone credible stepped up to face him from the right. As much as they like the former Charlotte mayor (his favorables are 56/9), they're still casting about for a more conservative alternative: 44% would like a more conservative candidate, while 34% would still vote for McCrory given the choice.

NH-Gov: He was the gubernatorial nominee back in 1996 (losing badly in the general), vanished after that, used the tea party movement to catapult himself back out of obscurity and almost won the GOP Senate primary last year, and now the mellifluously-named Ovide Lamontagne is about to come full circle. He's calling around trying to nail down establishment support for a Gov. run next year (although he may still have to face a primary with John Stephen, the 2010 nominee).


AZ-08, AZ-07: Hard-right Republican state Sen. Frank Antenori takes to Facebook to say that, in response to encouragement, he's considering running for Congress. He doesn't say what district he's considering, though his state Senate seat, centered on retirement mecca Green Valley outside of Tucson, places him in the 8th (Republican-leaning, but currently held by Gabby Giffords).

CA-Carson-Compton-Gardena, CA-Long Beach Port: Democratic Rep. Laura Richardson looks like she's going to face a primary no matter where she runs. Her house is drawn into the proposed district of "Long Beach Port" along with Rep. Linda Sanchez, but much of her turf winds up in "Carson-Compton-Gardena," and there's no incumbent there, making it a better bet for her to run in. However, Assembly member Isadore Hall has confirmed a run in this seat. Meanwhile, over in "Long Beach Port," Dem state Senator Alan Lowenthal says he's going to run, regardless of where Richardson and/or Sanchez run. With California's stringent term limits, we may see many more legislators looking to take advance of the redistricting shake-up to get a promotion.

CA-Riverside-Moreno Valley: And over in the Inland Empire, long-time Republican Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione says he's going to run for the newly created "Riverside-Moreno Valley" seat. This is a Dem-leaning and Latino-majority seat carved out of the core of Ken Calvert's old CA-44 (Calvert will assumedly run further to the south now), although Tavaglione may hope to eke out a win here between his moderate reputation and that the district will probably have very low turnout.

IL-08: If you were worried about a return engagement from Melissa Bean, the conservaDem former holder of the 8th who surprisingly got bounced by Joe Walsh by a few hundred votes in 2010, don't worry: she just threw her backing behind Raja Krishnamoorthi, who seems to have quickly locked down establishment support en route to the nomination in the newly-configured and much-more-Dem-friendly 8th.

IL-13: A fairly big Democratic name is scoping out the 13th, a downstate district that was designed to be swingy and potentially a Dem pickup (although that's complicated by IL-15 Republican Rep. Timothy Johnson's decision to run here, rather than in a primary against John Shimkus). Unfortunately, the name is not exactly, um, golden... ex-State Rep. Jay Hoffman is best remembered as a key Rod Blagojevich ally during that era. (He wasn't implicated in any wrongdoing, for what that's worth.)

FL-25: Garcia to run in the 25th! However, it's a totally different Democratic Garcia than we're used to (not Joe, who ran in 2008 and 2010): it's state Rep. Luis Garcia, who has a pretty solid resume. Before joining the state House, he was a city commissioner and the city's first Hispanic fire chief. It remains to be seen whether he faces off against scandal-tarred GOP frosh David Rivera, or if Rivera gets taken out in a primary.

MI-11: Well, after all that trouble, GOP state Rep. Marty Knollenberg sounds like he isn't running for Congress (he was one of the key members of the redistricting committee, as a part of a seeming master plan to redraw a seat for himself and avenge his father's defeat in 2008 in MI-09 by Gary Peters). Knollenberg's Republican-friendly suburb of Troy wound up not in the new 9th, but in Thad McCotter's 11th. He seems to be leaving himself an option, though, saying "No, [he is] not going to run against a Republican incumbent." So, he could run, if McCotter doesn't run again, in order to pursue a quixotic presidential bid or just to spend more time with his ego. Michigander Dana Houle weighs in with further thoughts on the possibility of McCotter vacating his seat, and on the new map in general.

Meanwhile, Peters and the guy he was drawn together with, veteran Dem Sandy Levin, aren't attacking each other yet (despite a likely primary faceoff); in fact, they put out a joint statement decrying the GOP-drawn map. DCCC head Steve Israel has apparently been encouraging Peters to leave the 9th and move over to the 11th (where McCotter hasn't faced serious opposition before), although this swingy area gets a few points redder under the new map. (Peters and Levin aren't baselessly crying foul about the aggressive gerrymandering of Oakland County; Greg Giroux points out that 14 of 16 municipalities in the county that went 59% or more for Obama wound up packed in the new 9th or 14th, while 21 of 23 municipalities that went for McCain were packed into the 8th or 11th.)

MT-AL: Missoula city councilor Dave Strohmaier announced that he's running for the open seat left behind by Denny Rehberg. Strohmaier (from one of the state's few islands of blue) will face state Rep. Franke Wilmer, and probably others, in the Democratic primary.

NV-02: While it looks like we know who the major players will be (former state Sen. Mark Amodei just got the Republican back-room nomination, while state Treasurer Kate Marshall seems to have the Democratic establishment support), the when and how of the Nevada special election is still up in the air. SoS Ross Miller is now saying that he might use an entirely vote-by-mail election. (The courts will have to decide whether the parties get to pick, or if it goes back to a everyone-all-at-once 'ballot royale' format as Miller originally planned.)

NY-09: Add two more names to the speculation pile, concerning who might get picked to replace Anthony Weiner (and when I say 'picked,' I mean it, as the choice is basically up to Queens Co. Dem party chair Joe Crowley). One conventional choice is Democratic Assemblyman Rory Lancman. A less conventional pick being suggested is Huma Abedin: state department official, Hillary Clinton right-hand-woman, and... um... wife to Anthony Weiner (entitled to a sort of 'widow's succession,' to the extent that Weiner's career is dead)?

VA-?: One-term VA-05 Rep. and netroots fave Tom Perriello says that he has "no plans" to mount a campaign for anything in 2012. (No mention of 2013, when a certain state AG slot becomes open...)

VA-11: Gerry Connolly is probably gearing up for a third matchup with Keith Fimian, but an ex-Army colonel, Chris Perkins, is also in the GOP race, and, suggesting he's at least one notch above Some Dude, claims the backing of a few current GOP Reps. Perkins, who seems to be positioning himself to Fimian's left (more in terms of tone than actually policy, though) has his foot in the door for at least one news cycle for saying that the Ryan plan is good stuff, but just that Ryan "needs to do a better job selling it."

Grab bag:

IN-SoS: Mommmm!! Those Democrats are being mean to me! No, I'm not exaggerating... embattled Republican Secretary of State Charlie White, on the verge of losing his job after a few months in office because of his own voter fraud problems, is literally getting a lifeline from his mother. She's suing the special prosecutors who targeted White, seeking $750K! (Not sure what exactly her standing here is...)

Dark money: The FEC is very politely going after Karl Rove-linked Super PAC American Crossroads, nicely asking them to please disclose the names of their donors. Since this seems unlikely to be honored, we'll have to see if they move on to the second level: a sternly-worded letter.


South Carolina: The state House signed off on the proposed GOP congressional plan, which creates a sixth Republican seat instead of a theoretically-possible VRA seat. The plan heads back to the Senate, also GOP-controlled. The Dems' only recourse here is a lawsuit, which is already in the works, they say, and/or intervention from the Obama DOJ. (The article also, while not providing maps, describes changes to the state legislative maps, with a number of districts shifting from the state's middle to the fast-growing coastal lowlands, either around Myrtle Beach or the exurbs of Charleston.)

West Virginia: We haven't thought much about West Virginia, although it's worth watching, seeing as how the Dems control the trifecta here and they could mess somewhat with freshman GOPer David McKinley's 1st district. They'll be handling redistricting in a summer special session, which is set to begin August 1. Proposals should be made available in late July.

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Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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